The Babies - Here Comes Trouble [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Babies

Here Comes Trouble [7-inch] (2011)

Teenage Teardrops

Following on the heels of their excellent debut, and preceding rumors of a new LP, the Babies, featuring Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls and Kevin Morby of Woods, released a double A-side single which shows the band progressing in song composition while retaining their raw sound.

"Here Comes Trouble," the A side, features the band expanding upon their previous song structure. While the tunes on their debut often subverted song structure, with some functioning as minute-long crescendos, this cut pieces together their previous tools into what could be an epic in comparison to their other songs. "Here Comes Trouble" starts off soft only to rise, but where older Babies tunes would cut the track there, the song drops into a softer wave only to build back up by looping a coda back into the chorus. As with other Babies tunes, the music blends indie rock with a slight hint of country twang backed by distanced, reserved wailing. But, the most interesting trick in the bag is in the lyrical trade off. Morby announces warnings to an unnamed male suitor that he "better run" from a prospective beau. But, quite uniquely, Ramone assumes the position of the she-devil and also warns the suitor as well that he is in danger. Not only does this contrast create multiple levels of interpretation for the listener, but is one of the few times in music where the "Wicked Woman" of song gets her say, and astoundingly, seems to agree with the tag placed upon her!

The AA side, "My Tears," is somewhat more related to older Babies material with its slight minute thirty run time. But, while the tune is curt, near the end, when it seems to be breaking up in a brief, restrained freakout, the band drops in an off-kilter solo that fights with the music as much as it drags it forward. While a short addition, it suggests that the band likes utilizing convention as much as subverting it. Somewhat like a classic Guided by Voices track, just when the song seems to be fairly normal, it jumps the rails warning the listener to expect the unexpected.

If this release is any indication of the Babies' intention to retain their base sound while using their previous tricks to build something larger than before, the dreaded sophomore album will be as much a boon as a challenge. As with this release, expected the unexpected, even if it is kind of expected.